Darkness

We’ve all been there in one way or another. The darkness. Unsure, A little afraid. Or maybe it was worse; we had a sense of dread, maybe evil just around the corner, through the trees.

Maybe you’re somewhere in between; you can see the light off in the distance, but you’re not sure you can cross through the darkness.

By some measure it’s relative; each of us knows the doubt and pain and struggle of our own reality and experience.
The old adage, “…there’s always someone worse off than you…” might be a good way to approach this commonality of humanity.
Consider the homeless.  Consider the abused.  Consider those that don’t have enough to eat; maybe nothing at all to eat.
Consider those displaced by war, terrorized by violence otherwise.  Consider the children, and old people, who can’t get away from the shelling, the bombs, the murderous mobs.
Imagine living in the open, in the cold, in the wet, with no real shelter from the elements.
Consider the suffering. Maybe from mental illness, or disease, or strife otherwise in your life, hounding you, not letting up.
And then consider being nailed to a cross and hung there to die.

Imagine a darkness so deep, unending, leaving your heart black with dispare, nothing to hold you back from the abyss but your pain.

And then consider the love it took to walk toward the cross, accept it. A commitment so complete that it bears witness to God’s love for us, to speak truth to the very end, until the spirit departs.
In the end, I think that’s why they call Good Friday good.
INRI_Iēsus Nazarēnus, Rēx Iūdaeōrum

The Greatest Lesson – What’s Love Got to Do with It?

“Love one another as I have loved you.”
It’s a simple instruction, really.   And yet so profound.
I remember as a kid listening to the liturgy in church, and part of the opening prayer the pastors used most frequently included this recollection.
The prayer referenced the very clear and direct guidance Jesus provided,
“Love God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  The second is like unto it.  Love your neighbor as yourself.”
In New Testament scripture, it describes further the context of this instruction.  Jesus at one point during his ministry, probably more than once, specified that he had new insight to share with respect to God and our relationship with God.
The Jews had the ten commandments of course, and additional laws that had developed over time.
There were hundreds of religious laws, actually.  Jesus essentially said, put those aside.  You need to do two things if you want to be good with God.
Love God.
Love each other.
As he approached his Passion, knowing that suffering and death would soon be visited upon him, he reminded his closest friends what he wanted for them:  that they love each other in the same way that he loved them.
Simple instruction.   And why profound?
My take is that Jesus brought this up one last time to his friends because it was so fundamental to what he believed, what he knew, about the nature of God.  This mandate above all else was what he wanted them to follow, to be closer to each other, and to God.
Jesus’s words still ring true 2,000 years later.  Love God and love each other.  Love as Jesus did.  Love and serve each other.    Everything else follows properly if we do these two fundamental things.
There’s something else too.  Maybe by focusing on this message, re-enforcing these words to his friends, it helped him cope with the difficult road he would soon face, the final passage to his end.
I can imagine an urgency in his voice, insisting they listen, beseeching them to follow this simple instruction.
It’s not easy sometimes, but I’m going to try to listen too, try harder to follow this instruction.
AMEN.
jesuswashesthe12maudythursday
References —
The Greatest Commandments:  Deuteronomy 6:4-7, Matthew 22:37-40, Mark 12:30-31, Luke 10:27;  John 13:14–17 (NKJV)

Believe, and Persevere

“The Lord GOD is my help,
therefore I am not disgraced;
I have set my face like flint,
knowing that I shall not be put to shame.
He is near who upholds my right; if anyone wishes to oppose me, let us appear together.” -Isaiah 50.

The fundamental mindset of mental health survival might be summarized thus: PERSEVERE. You are not alone. BELIEVE. Never give up.

Easier said than done often times, that’s for sure.

What do we do when we feel the slow angst of uncertainty, sense approaching calamity, or suffer chronic misery?

I humbly offer: Faith helps. It fundamentally helps. This approach is the basic tenet I believe Jesus taught us; it’s the approach we can still hear spoken through his lessons from 2,000 years ago, to today.

You are not alone. Believe. Never give up. God is with you. Maybe it’s that last phrase that catches you up. “How do I know God is with me?! How can I be sure? I’m not even sure I believe in God”, you might think to yourself.

There are at least a couple of ways I invite you to think about it.

First, consider God in those people around you, those who love you. It can be a relative, a partner, a spouse, your child, a co-worker (true!), an old friend, a new friend, maybe even a stranger. When you experience a gesture or
expression of love, that is God with you.

Take solace in that experience. Allow it it energize you, fortify you, fill you up. Lean on those people that are closest to you. That’s what we are supposed to do. Be open, be honest, confide, and rely on that connection in the
moments you need it most.

Second, consider God in the quiet of your soul, in your inner-most self. Listen carefully, truly, and take your time. Deep within, you know when you are being honest with yourself, when you are being completely true, and experiencing
truth. I would suggest that prayer — or mediation, or reflection, call it as you wish — this process is the channel we should use to come to this place within ourselves.

Listen carefully, and you will know the truth. And that is where you will find God with you too.

You will realize that you are in fact not alone. That you have the will, and the fortitude, and the strength of spirit to press on, to never give up. PERSEVERE.

UnExpected

These words resonate:
“Sometimes you can see God moving, even when everything is falling apart.” -Jen Fulwiler.
 A comedian and talk show host, Fulwiler made this observation recently; I don’t know her, but her words resonate for me.
I think about betrayal, about one of Jesus’ closest followers deciding to turn him over to his enemies.  Could Jesus have known? If you believe he was divine, he had at least some sense that this is how it play out.
But what does that mean?   What did he feel, knowing…?
I think maybe he had at least a sort of “Spider Sense” (like the Web-Slinger himself), he sensed it was coming, but maybe he didn’t know the exact details.  Jesus predicted as much while eating with his friends.  “One of you will betray me.”
It’s the unexpected part that’s more nuanced.
What comfort did Jesus draw from knowing his suffering and death were imminent?
When was it going to happen?  Who would come?  What would they say?  How would it play out?   I doubt he knew all the details, but Jesus had a sense.
That’s why he went to the garden to pray.  To fortify himself, to prepare, to set his resolve for what lay ahead.
And for us, what can we learn?
How do we deal with the unexpected?    When things end up going sideways, and you find yourself in the middle of a shit storm, then what?
Maybe even a better question is,
“How can we anticipate, how can we be better prepared for the inevitable trials we will face in our lives?”
W.W.J.D.?  “What Would Jesus Do?”
Maybe the common refrain is something we can particularly consider during this Holy Week.  Even better, carry the practice forward throughout the year.
How did he deal with the unexpected?  And where is God in those moments?
More so, where is God RIGHT NOW, and what is he quietly whispering to us?   How is he trying to prepare us for the unexpected?
spidersense
[Gentle Disclaimer:  I mention Spiderman in this piece as a real-world, popular image and reference, not supposing that Spiderman is divine, or that Jesus is comparable to a comic book character.]

Uncertainty

Did he know?
When he was in the garden, on his hands and knees, his forehead against the cool dirt, and tears ran down his face, and sweat oozed like blood from his pores, did he know?
I’m not sure what the answer is. I don’t know what Church doctrine says. I can’t know fur sure, I suppose. None of us can.
I know what I believe. I believe Jesus himself wasn’t sure. That was his humanity. And yet he accepted the cup, his prayer fortified his resolve, and he entered into his Passion.
Hours later he would be tortured, ridiculed, mocked, scorned, and finally nailed to a cross, hung naked to die, for all to see.
Uncertainty.
How do we cope with it? How did Jesus cope with it?
By one account, as Jesus hung there, he cried out, “Father, why have you forsaken me?”
Even near the end, he might have been unsure.
I — we! — as believers, we can only hope that what fortified him earlier that day in the garden, that it also helped him in his final hours, hanging on a tree, waiting to die.
FAITH.    Of the many things we can learn from Jesus (Christian or otherwise, really), one of the most powerful lessons he offers is his faith.
How do we deal with uncertainty?  FAITH.
How many times in the familiar stories we read about Jesus does the account convey, “he went off to pray…”, “he spent the night in prayer…”, “…he prayed together with his friends (disciples), etc.
I’d say that lesson applies to a lot of things in life.  Pause, reflect / pray, have faith.
Severe illness, life-threatening heart condition, struggling marriage, children having difficulties in their development, work life getting you down, coping with end-of-life issues with your parents, and on and on and on…?  FAITH.  Faith helps.
To be clear, I don’t mean that we should casually toss aside taking action; I don’t mean to over-simplify, saying “just have faith” and everything is better.
What I am saying for sure though, is that faith and reflection are a twin elements that are critical to coping and persevering through difficulty. 
Don’t expect mana from Heaven to come down to feed you if you’re hungry;  don’t expect an angel to sweep in and rescue you from your hardship.  But there is a way to fortify yourself to press on, to not give up.
Often times in life we are uncertain as to how to proceed.  Often times we are faced with difficulties we cannot easily overcome, struggles that continue over time.  We don’t know what do to do.  We face uncertainty as to how things will play out.
“Give us this day, our daily bread…”
Do have faith.  Do pray.  You will thus persevere through your uncertainty.
NEVER GIVE UP.

Balancing Retreat

Funny thing about getting unexpected down time – at least for me – I both welcome it, but also end up feeling stalled out, inertia awash, stuck.

Friday was Day Two at home with a sick kid; on the mend she was, is, but all the same, she needed another day to heal up from the flu.   I got more sleep, did a few chores, and otherwise just hung out with my daughter.  I read, she watched cartoons; I did a little work, she worked on a learning app.

Sounds pretty good, right?   A second day of unplanned retreat. Well it was a good day, for the most part.  The weird thing, this funny thing I mentioned as the lead-in, it happened really early this morning, before the sun came up, when the house was dark and everyone was still in bed.

I felt stuck.

I slept through the night almost without waking through the night – not typical for me – and when I did wake up, it was nearly time to get up (on a usual day), and my head quickly came to speed thinking about all the things I need to do.  And these just weren’t things I needed to do today or this weekend, it was EVERYTHING:

Work tasks, unfinished projects, upcoming changes, the garage full of stuff that need attention, the bills I need to pay, the tickets I need to sell, the yard work I need to do, the lists I need to make, the haircut I need, college tuition (mind you our kids are eight, six, and five currently), the last conversation my wife and I had last night, the dogs being neglected, the order I need to place for my mom, and on and on and…on.

You get the idea.

And I started to feel panicky, lying there in the dark, hours before a lot of people even start their day…and then I remembered…BREATH.  So, I took a few deep breaths.  That helped.  I should have prayed too, that would have helped.  But I didn’t.   I laid there; I thought some more; I thought about what I could do today, should do today, first, second, third.

I started a list in my head.   And I turned the corner.  Away from panic, toward a better attitude, the proper mindset.

Having an action plan helps.   Having a sense of the timing you want to execute to, that helps also. The main thing is, even as you let everything slow down, even as you purposely take a break, a pause, have a plan to ramp back up when its time.  Have a scheme for how you intend to re-engage, whenever it is you do.

The more you anticipate, and have a plan to execute, the less inertia will weigh you down, the more effective, and happier you will be.   And the more gratifying that retreat will be too.

Surprise! Thursday Retreat

[My view most of the day, above.]

Life is often about making the best of your circumstances. Here’s an example.

I woke out of a dead sleep before midnight yesterday evening. Our oldest kid was sick with stomach flu. I spent the rest of the night with her on the couch, up every couple hours to help her over the porcelain. Tough night.

Though work the next day was going to be pretty busy, my wife had less latitude to stay home, so I took the day off to be home with our daughter. She faired pretty well, and it seems (fingers crossed) to be a one-day bug.

And so today has basically been a day on the couch for me too. An unexpected day to do little. Turns out, that’s been pretty nice. Life’s pretty busy generally. And I suppose I’ve made it that way, in large part. So when an opportunity to do little comes up, rather than try to fill that time, I’ve embraced the little.

Early on I let my boss know I was going to be out, I got two tasks completed I had to for work — thankful for a laptop and a secure internet connection — and then set up the auto-reply and closed the computer.

After my wife left to drop off the other two kids to day care and then head to work herself, my sick friend and settled in. She was feeling a little better, watching TV, nibbling a piece of toast, so I took a nap next to her.

I read a few articles I wouldn’t otherwise have had time for. I dozed again. Then I read some more. I cooked a pot of beans. I wrote a short note to an editor. And I wrote this blog post.

I didn’t leave the house all day. I didn’t get in the car. We just hung out.

It was an unexpected day of retreat. And I tried to make the most of it, by doing little.

GOOD.

#halffull

HAMILTON

hamilton

Saw it a week and a half back. The beats and scenes and songs and the lyrics still running through my head. Inspired.

Thank you, Lin-Manuel.

Thank you, #AndPeggyToo Tour.

Thank you, #HamiltonSF ~

HERE’S A TASTE OF IT, THE FIRST SONG…

“Alexander Hamilton”

(performed by Lin-Manuel Miranda – Hamilton Cast)

[BURR]

How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a

Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a

Forgotten spot in the Caribbean by providence

Impoverished, in squalor

Grow up to be a hero and a scholar?

[LAURENS]

The ten-dollar founding father without a father

Got a lot farther by working a lot harder

By being a lot smarter

By being a self-starter

By fourteen, they placed him in charge of a

Trading charter

[JEFFERSON]

And every day while slaves were being slaughtered and carted

Away across the waves, he struggled and kept his guard up

Inside, he was longing for something to be a part of

The brother was ready to beg, steal, borrow, or barter

[MADISON]

Then a hurricane came, and devastation reigned

Our man saw his future drip, dripping down the drain

Put a pencil to his temple, connected it to his brain

And he wrote his first refrain, a testament to his pain

[BURR]

Well, the word got around, they said, “This kid is insane, man”

Took up a collection just to send him to the mainland

“Get your education, don’t forget from whence you came, and

The world is gonna know your name. What’s your name, man?”

[HAMILTON]

Alexander Hamilton

My name is Alexander Hamilton

And there’s a million things I haven’t done

But just you wait, just you wait…

[ELIZA]

When he was ten his father split, full of it, debt-ridden

Two years later, see Alex and his mother bed-ridden

Half-dead sittin in their own sick, the scent thick

[COMPANY]

And Alex got better but his mother went quick

[WASHINGTON]

Moved in with a cousin, the cousin committed suicide

Left him with nothin’ but ruined pride, something new inside

A voice saying

[WASHINGTON]

“You gotta fend for yourself.” [COMPANY]

“Alex, you gotta fend for yourself.”

[WASHINGTON]

He started retreatin’ and readin’ every treatise on the shelf

[BURR]

There would have been nothin’ left to do

For someone less astute

He woulda been dead or destitute

Without a cent of restitution

Started workin’, clerkin’ for his late mother’s landlord

Tradin’ sugar cane and rum and all the things he can’t afford

Scammin’ for every book he can get his hands on

Plannin’ for the future see him now as he stands on

The bow of a ship headed for a new land

In New York you can be a new man

[COMPANY]

In New York you can

Be a new man-

In New York you can

Be a new man-

[COMPANY]

Scammin’

Plannin’

Oooh…

[HAMILTON]

Just you wait!

Just you wait!

[COMPANY]

In New York you can be a new man-

[WOMEN]

In New York-

[MEN]

New York-

[HAMILTON]

Just you wait!

[COMPANY]

Alexander Hamilton

We are waiting in the wings for you

You could never back down

You never learned to take your time!

Oh, Alexander Hamilton

When America sings for you

Will they know what you overcame?

Will they know you rewrote the game?

The world will never be the same, oh

[BURR]

The ship is in the harbor now

See if you can spot him

Another immigrant

Comin’ up from the bottom

His enemies destroyed his rep

America forgot him

[COMPANY]

Alexander Hamilton

Waiting in the wings for you

You never learned to take your time!

Oh, Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton…

America sings for you

Will they know what you overcame?

Will they know you rewrote the game?

The world will never be the same, oh

[MEN]

Just you wait

[COMPANY]

Just you wait

[MULLIGAN/LAFAYETTE]

We fought with him

[LAURENS]

Me? I died for him

[WASHINGTON]

Me? I trusted him

[ELIZA/ANGELICA/MARIA]

Me? I loved him

[BURR]

And me? I’m the damn fool that shot him

[COMPANY]

There’s a million things I haven’t done

But just you wait!

[BURR]

What’s your name, man?

[COMPANY]

Alexander Hamilton!

AND THIS ONE, THE BEGINNING OF LIFE IN COLONIAL AMERICA, HAMILTON FINDS …

“Aaron Burr, Sir”

(Lin-Manuel Miranda – Hamilton Cast)

[COMPANY]

1776. New York City

[HAMILTON]

Pardon me. Are you Aaron Burr, sir?

[BURR]

That depends. Who’s asking?

[HAMILTON]

Oh, well, sure, sir

I’m Alexander Hamilton, I’m at your service, sir

I have been looking for you

[BURR]

I’m getting nervous

[HAMILTON]

Sir…

I heard your name at Princeton. I was seeking an accelerated course of study when I got sort of out of sorts with a buddy of yours. I may have punched him. It’s a blur, sir. He handles the financials?

[BURR]

You punched the bursar

[HAMILTON]

Yes!

I wanted to do what you did. Graduate in two, then join the revolution. He looked at me like I was stupid, I’m not stupid

So how’d you do it? How’d you graduate so fast?

[BURR]

It was my parents’ dying wish before they passed

[HAMILTON]

You’re an orphan. Of course! I’m an orphan

God, I wish there was a war!

Then we could prove that we’re worth more

Than anyone bargained for…

[BURR]

Can I buy you a drink?

[HAMILTON]

That would be nice

[BURR]

While we’re talking, let me offer you some free advice

Talk less

[HAMILTON]

What?

[BURR]

Smile more

[HAMILTON]

Ha

[BURR]

Don’t let them know what you’re against or what you’re for

[HAMILTON]

You can’t be serious

[BURR]

You wanna get ahead?

[HAMILTON]

Yes

[BURR]

Fools who run their mouths off wind up dead

AND THEN THE COMPANY EXPANDS…

[LAURENS]

Yo yo yo yo yo!

What time is it?

[LAURENS/LAFAYETTE/MULLIGAN]

Show time!

[BURR]

…like I said…

[LAURENS]

Show time! Show time! Yo!

I’m John Laurens in the place to be!

Two pints o’ Sam Adams, but I’m workin’ on three, uh!

Those redcoats don’t want it with me!

Cuz I will pop chick-a pop these cops till I’m free!

[LAFAYETTE]

Oui oui, mon ami, je m’appelle Lafayette!

The Lancelot of the revolutionary set!

I came from afar just to say “Bonsoir!”

Tell the King “Casse toi!” Who’s the best?

C’est moi!

[MULLIGAN]

Brrrah brraaah! I am Hercules Mulligan

Up in it, lovin’ it, yes I heard ya mother said “Come again?”

Lock up ya daughters and horses, of course

It’s hard to have intercourse over four sets of corsets…

[LAURENS]

No more sex, pour me another brew, son!

Let’s raise a couple more…

[LAURENS/LAFAYETTE/MULLIGAN]

To the revolution!

[LAURENS]

Well, if it ain’t the prodigy of Princeton college!

[MULLIGAN]

Aaron Burr!

[LAURENS]

Give us a verse, drop some knowledge!

[BURR]

Good luck with that: you’re takin’ a stand

You spit. I’m ‘a sit. We’ll see where we land

[LAFAYETTE/MULLIGAN]

Boooo!

[LAURENS]

Burr, the revolution’s imminent. What do you stall for?

[HAMILTON]

If you stand for nothing, Burr, what’ll you fall for?

[LAURENS]

Ooh

Who are you? [MULLIGAN]

Ooh

Who are you? [LAFAYETTE]

Ooh

Who are you?

[MULLIGAN/LAFAYETTE/LAURENS]

Ooh, who is this kid? What’s he gonna do?

Top▲

My Shot

(Lin-Manuel Miranda – Hamilton Cast)

[HAMILTON]

I am not throwing away my shot!

I am not throwing away my shot!

Hey yo, I’m just like my country

I’m young, scrappy and hungry

And I’m not throwing away my shot!

I’m ‘a get a scholarship to King’s College

I prob’ly shouldn’t brag, but dag, I amaze and astonish

The problem is I got a lot of brains but no polish

I gotta holler just to be heard

With every word, I drop knowledge!

I’m a diamond in the rough, a shiny piece of coal

Tryin’ to reach my goal. My power of speech: unimpeachable

Only nineteen but my mind is older

These New York City streets get colder, I shoulder

Ev’ry burden, ev’ry disadvantage

I have learned to manage, I don’t have a gun to brandish

I walk these streets famished

The plan is to fan this spark into a flame

But damn, it’s getting dark, so let me spell out the name

I am the-

[HAMILTON/LAFAYETTE/MULLIGAN/LAURENS]

A-L-E-X-A-N-D

E-R-we are-meant to be…

[HAMILTON]

A colony that runs independently

Meanwhile, Britain keeps shittin’ on us endlessly

Essentially, they tax us relentlessly

Then King George turns around, runs a spending spree

He ain’t ever gonna set his descendants free

So there will be a revolution in this century

Enter me!

[LAFAYETTE/MULLIGAN/LAURENS]

(He says in parentheses)

[HAMILTON]

Don’t be shocked when your hist’ry book mentions me

I will lay down my life if it sets us free

Eventually, you’ll see my ascendancy

[HAMILTON]

And I am not throwing away

My shot

I am not throwing away

My shot

Hey yo, I’m just like my country

I’m young, scrappy and hungry

And I’m not throwing away my shot

[LAURENS]

My shot!

My shot!

And I’m not throwing away my shot.

[HAMILTON/MULLIGAN/LAURENS/LAFAYETTE]

I am not throwing away my shot

I am not throwing away my shot

Hey yo, I’m just like my country

I’m young, scrappy and hungry

And I’m not throwing away my shot

It’s time to take a shot!

[LAFAYETTE]

I dream of life without a monarchy

The unrest in France will lead to ‘onarchy?

‘Onarchy? How you say, how you say, ‘anarchy?’

When I fight, I make the other side panicky

With my-

[HAMILTON/LAURENS/LAFAYETTE/MULLIGAN]

Shot!

[MULLIGAN]

Yo, I’m a tailor’s apprentice

And I got y’all knuckleheads in loco parentis

I’m joining the rebellion cuz I know it’s my chance

To socially advance, instead of sewin’ some pants!

I’m gonna take a-

[HAMILTON/LAURENS/LAFAYETTE/MULLIGAN]

Shot!

[LAURENS]

But we’ll never be truly free

Until those in bondage have the same rights as you and me

You and I. Do or die. Wait till I sally in

On a stallion with the first black battalion

Have another-

[HAMILTON/LAURENS/LAFAYETTE/MULLIGAN]

Shot!

[BURR]

Geniuses, lower your voices

You keep out of trouble and you double your choices

I’m with you, but the situation is fraught

You’ve got to be carefully taught:

If you talk, you’re gonna get shot!

[HAMILTON]

Burr, check what we got

Mister Lafayette, hard rock like Lancelot

I think your pants look hot

Laurens, I like you a lot

Let’s hatch a plot blacker than the kettle callin’ the pot…

What are the odds the gods would put us all in one spot

Poppin’ a squat on conventional wisdom, like it or not

A bunch of revolutionary manumission abolitionists?

Give me a position, show me where the ammunition is!

Oh, am I talkin’ too loud?

Sometimes I get over excited, shoot off at the mouth

I never had a group of friends before

I promise that I’ll make y’all proud

[LAURENS]

Let’s get this guy in front of a crowd

[HAMILTON/LAURENS/LAFAYETTE/MULLIGAN/ENSEMBLE]

I am not throwing away my shot

I am not throwing away my shot

Hey yo, I’m just like my country

I’m young, scrappy and hungry

And I’m not throwing away my shot

I am not throwing away my shot

I am not throwing away my shot

Hey yo, I’m just like my country

I’m young, scrappy and hungry

And I’m not throwing away my shot

[LAURENS]

Ev’rybody sing:

Whoa, whoa, whoa

Hey!

Whoa!

Wooh!!

Whoa!

Ay, let ‘em hear ya!

Let’s go!

I said shout it to the rooftops!

Said, to the rooftops!

Come on!

Come on, let’s go! [HAMILTON/LAFAYETTE/

MULLIGAN]

Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!

Whoa!

Whoa!

Yea!

[COMPANY]

Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!

Whoa!

Whoa!

Yea!

[LAURENS]

Rise up!

When you’re living on your knees, you rise up

Tell your brother that he’s gotta rise up

Tell your sister that she’s gotta rise up

[LAURENS AND ENSEMBLE]

When are these colonies gonna rise up?

When are these colonies gonna rise up?

When are these colonies gonna rise up?

When are these colonies gonna rise up?

Rise up!

[COMPANY]

Whoa! Whoa!

Whoa!

Whoa!

Whoa!

Rise up!

[HAMILTON]

I imagine death so much it feels more like a memory

When’s it gonna get me?

In my sleep? Seven feet ahead of me?

If I see it comin’, do I run or do I let it be?

Is it like a beat without a melody?

See, I never thought I’d live past twenty

Where I come from some get half as many

Ask anybody why we livin’ fast and we laugh, reach for a flask

We have to make this moment last, that’s plenty

Scratch that

This is not a moment, it’s the movement

Where all the hungriest brothers with

Something to prove went?

Foes oppose us, we take an honest stand

We roll like Moses, claimin’ our promised land

And? If we win our independence?

‘Zat a guarantee of freedom for our descendants?

Or will the blood we shed begin an endless

Cycle of vengeance and death with no defendants?

I know the action in the street is excitin’

But Jesus, between all the bleedin’ ‘n fightin’

I’ve been readin’ ‘n writin’

We need to handle our financial situation

Are we a nation of states? What’s the state of our nation?

I’m past patiently waitin’. I’m passionately

Smashin’ every expectation

Every action’s an act of creation!

I’m laughin’ in the face of casualties and sorrow

For the first time, I’m thinkin’ past tomorrow

[HAMILTON AND COMPANY]

And I am not throwing away my shot

I am not throwing away my shot

Hey yo, I’m just like my country

I’m young, scrappy and hungry

And I’m not throwing away my shot

[HAMILTON/LAURENS/

LAFAYETTE/MULLIGAN]

We’re gonna rise up! Time to take a shot!

We’re gonna rise up! Time to take a shot!

We’re gonna

[HAMILTON]

Time to take a shot!

[HAMILTON/LAFAYETTE/

LAURENS/MULLIGAN]

Time to take a shot!

Time to take a shot!

Take a shot!

Shot!

Shot!

A-yo it’s

Time to take a shot!

Time to take a shot!

And I am-

[ENSEMBLE]

Not throwing away my shot

Not throwing away my shot

We’re gonna

Rise up!

Rise up!

Rise up!

Rise up!

Rise up!

Rise up!

Ri- ri- ri-

Time to take a shot!

Time to take a shot!

And I am-

[HAMILTON/LAFAYETTE/MULLIGAN/LAURENS]

Not throwin’ away my-

COMPANY

Not throwin’ away my shot!

AND THIS, THESE AMAZING THREE LADIES, THE LOVE THAT SETS IN, AND REMAINS…

“Schuyler Sisters”

(Lin-Manuel Miranda – Hamilton Cast)

[BURR]

There’s nothing rich folks love more

Than going downtown and slummin’ it with the poor

They pull up in their carriages and gawk

At the students in the common

Just to watch them talk

Take Philip Schuyler: the man is loaded

Uh-oh, but little does he know that

His daughters, Peggy, Angelica, Eliza

Sneak into the city just to watch all the guys at-

[COMPANY]

Work, work!

[ANGELICA]

Angelica!

[COMPANY]

Work, work!

[ELIZA]

Eliza!

[PEGGY]

And Peggy!

[COMPANY]

Work, work!

The Schuyler sisters!

[ANGELICA]

Angelica!

[PEGGY]

Peggy!

[ELIZA]

Eliza!

[COMPANY]

Work!

[PEGGY]

Daddy said to be home by sundown

[ANGELICA]

Daddy doesn’t need to know

[PEGGY]

Daddy said not to go downtown

[ELIZA]

Like I said, you’re free to go

[ANGELICA]

But-look around, look around, the

Revolution’s happening in New York

[ELIZA/PEGGY]

New York

[COMPANY]

Angelica

[SCHUYLER SISTERS AND COMPANY]

Work!

[PEGGY]

It’s bad enough daddy wants to go to war

[ELIZA]

People shouting in the square

[PEGGY]

It’s bad enough there’ll be violence on our shore

[ANGELICA]

New ideas in the air

[ANGELICA AND MALE ENSEMBLE]

Look around, look around-

[ELIZA]

Angelica, remind me what we’re looking for…

[ALL MEN]

She’s lookin’ for me!

[ANGELICA]

Eliza, I’m lookin’ for a mind at work

I’m lookin’ for a mind at work!

I’m lookin’ for a mind at work!

Whooaaaaa!

[ELIZA/ANGELICA/PEGGY]

Whooaaaaa!

Work! [COMPANY]

Work, work!

Work, work!

Work, work!

Work!

[BURR]

Wooh! There’s nothin’ like summer in the city

Someone in a rush next to someone lookin’ pretty

Excuse me, miss, I know it’s not funny

But your perfume smells like your daddy’s got money

Why you slummin’ in the city in your fancy heels

You searchin for an urchin who can give you ideals?

[ANGELICA]

Burr, you disgust me

[BURR]

Ah, so you’ve discussed me

I’m a trust fund, baby, you can trust me!

[ANGELICA]

I’ve been reading Common Sense by Thomas Paine

So men say that I’m intense or I’m insane

You want a revolution? I want a revelation

So listen to my declaration:

[ELIZA/ANGELICA/PEGGY]

“We hold these truths to be self-evident

That all men are created equal”

[ANGELICA]

And when I meet Thomas Jefferson

[COMPANY]

Unh!

[ANGELICA]

I’m ‘a compel him to include women in the sequel!

[WOMEN]

Work!

[ELIZA]

Look around, look around at how

Lucky we are to be alive right now!

[ELIZA/PEGGY]

Look around, look around at how

Lucky we are to be alive right now!

[ELIZA/ANGELICA/PEGGY]

History is happening in Manhattan and we just happen to be in the greatest city in the world!

[SCHUYLER SISTERS AND COMPANY]

In the greatest city in the world!

[ANGELICA]

Cuz I’ve been reading Common Sense by Thomas Paine

So men say that I’m intense or I’m insane

[ANGELICA]

You want a revolution?

I want a revelation

So listen to my declaration:

[ANGELICA/ELIZA/PEGGY]

We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal

Whoo! [ELIZA/PEGGY]

Look around, look around

The revolution’s happening in-

[ELIZA/PEGGY]

New York!

In New York!

[FEMALE ENSEMBLE]

Look around

Look around

At how lucky we are to be alive right now [MEN]

Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!

Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!

[WOMEN]

Look around, look around the revolution’s happening

Hey! Hey!

Hey! Hey!

Hey! Hey!

Hey! Hey!

[FULL COMPANY]

Look around, look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now!

History is happening in Manhattan and we just happen to be

[ALL WOMEN]

In the greatest city in the world

[ALL MEN]

In the greatest city-

[COMPANY]

In the greatest city in the world!

[COMPANY]

Work, work!

Work, work!

Work, work!

Work, work!

Work, work!

Work, work!

Work, work!

[COMPANY]

Work, work!

Work, work!

Work, work!

[ANGELICA]

Angelica!

[ELIZA]

Eliza!

[PEGGY]

And Peggy!

[ANGELICA/ELIZA/PEGGY]

The Schuyler sisters!

We’re looking for a mind at work!

Hey!

Hey!

[ANGELICA]

Whoa!

In the greatest

City in the world

[ELIZA/PEGGY]

Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!

In the greatest

City in the world

[COMPANY]

In the greatest city in the world!

Top▲

1780

[BURR]

A winter’s ball

And the Schuyler sisters are the envy of all

Yo, if you can marry a sister, you’re rich, son

[HAMILTON]

Is it a question of if, Burr, or which one?

[HAMILTON/BURR/LAURENS]

Hey

Hey

Hey hey

Top▲

Helpless

(Lin-Manuel Miranda – Hamilton Cast)

[HAMILTON/BURR/LAURENS/ALL WOMEN (EXCEPT ELIZA)]

Hey hey hey hey

[ELIZA]

Ohh, I do I do I do I

Dooo! Hey!

Ohh, I do I do I do I

Dooo! Boy you got me [ALL WOMEN]

Hey hey hey hey

Hey hey hey hey

Hey hey hey hey

Hey hey hey

[ELIZA AND WOMEN]

Helpless!

Look into your eyes, and the sky’s the limit I’m helpless!

Down for the count, and I’m drownin’ in ‘em

[ELIZA]

I have never been the type to try and grab the spotlight

We were at a revel with some rebels on a hot night

Laughin’ at my sister as she’s dazzling the room

Then you walked in and my heart went “Boom!”

Tryin’ to catch your eye from the side of the ballroom

Everybody’s dancin’ and the band’s top volume

[ELIZA AND WOMEN]

Grind to the rhythm as we wine and dine

[ELIZA]

Grab my sister, and

Whisper, “Yo, this

One’s mine.”

My sister made her way across the room to you

And I got nervous, thinking “What’s she gonna do?”

She grabbed you by the arm, I’m thinkin’ “I’m through”

Then you look back at me and suddenly I’m

Helpless!

Oh, look at those eyes

Oh!

Yeah, I’m

Helpless, I know

I’m so into you

I am so into you

I know I’m down for the count

And I’m drownin’ in ‘em.

[ALL WOMEN]

Oooh

Oooh

Oooh

Oooh

Helpless!

Look into your eyes

And the sky’s the limit

I’m

Helpless!

Down for the count

And I’m drownin’ in ‘em

I’m helpless!

Look into your eyes

And the sky’s the limit I’m helpless!

Down for the count

And I’m drownin’ in ‘em.

[HAMILTON]

Where are you taking me?

[ANGELICA]

I’m about to change your life

[HAMILTON]

Then by all means, lead the way

[ELIZA]

Elizabeth Schuyler. It’s a pleasure to meet you

[HAMILTON]

Schuyler?

[ANGELICA]

My sister

[ELIZA]

Thank you for all your service

[HAMILTON]

If it takes fighting a war for us to meet, it will have been worth it

[ANGELICA]

I’ll leave you to it

[ELIZA AND WOMEN]

One week later

[ELIZA]

I’m writin’ a letter nightly

Now my life gets better, every letter that you write me

Laughin’ at my sister, cuz she wants to form a harem

[ANGELICA]

I’m just sayin’, if you really loved me, you would share him

[ELIZA]

Ha!

Two weeks later

In the living room stressin’

My father’s stone-faced

While you’re asking for his blessin’

I’m dying inside, as

You wine

And dine

And I’m tryin’ not to cry

‘cause there’s nothing that your mind can’t do

My father makes his way across the room

To you

I panic for a second, thinking

“we’re through”

But then he shakes your hand and says

“Be true”

And you turn back to me, smiling, and I’m

Helpless!

Helpless!

Hoo!

That boy is mine

That boy is mine!

Helpless! Helpless!

Down for the count

And I’m drownin’ in em

[ALL WOMEN]

Stressin’

Blessin’

Oooh

Oooh

Oooh

Oooh

Helpless!

Look into your eyes

And the sky’s the

Limit I’m

Helpless!

Down for the count

And I’m drownin’ in

‘em I’m

Helpless!

Look into your eyes

And the sky’s the

Limit I’m

Helpless!

Down for the count

And I’m drownin’ in em

[HAMILTON]

Eliza, I don’t have a dollar to my name

An acre of land, a troop to command, a dollop of fame

All I have’s my honor, a tolerance for pain

A couple of college credits and my top-notch brain

Insane, your family brings out a different side of me

Peggy confides in me, Angelica tried to take a bite of me

No stress, my love for you is never in doubt

We’ll get a little place in Harlem and we’ll figure it out

I’ve been livin’ without a family since I was a child

My father left, my mother died, I grew up buckwild

But I’ll never forget my mother’s face, that was real

And long as I’m alive, Eliza, swear to God

You’ll never feel so…

[HAMILTON]

Eliza…

I’ve never felt so-

My life is gon’ be fine cuz Eliza’s in it.

[ELIZA]

I do I do I do I do!

I do I do I do I do!

Hey, yeah, yeah!

I’m down for the count

I’m-

I look into your eyes, and the sky’s the limit

I’m

…drownin’ in ‘em. [ALL WOMEN]

Helpless!

Helpless!

Helpless!

Down for the count

And I’m drownin’ in ‘em

Helpless!

Helpless!

Helpless!

Down for the count

And I’m drownin’ in ‘em.

Wedding march plays

[ALL WOMEN]

In New York, you can be a new man…

In New York, you can be a new man…

In New York, you can be a new man…

[ELIZA]

Helpless

AND THE BATTLE THAT ENDED IT ALL…AND AMERICA BEGAN…

“The battle of Yorktown. 1781”

[LAFAYETTE]

Monsieur Hamilton

[HAMILTON]

Monsieur Lafayette

[LAFAYETTE]

In command where you belong

[HAMILTON]

How you say, no sweat

We’re finally on the field. We’ve had quite a run

[LAFAYETTE]

Immigrants:

[HAMILTON/LAFAYETTE]

We get the job done

[HAMILTON]

So what happens if we win?

[LAFAYETTE]

I go back to France

I bring freedom to my people if I’m given the chance

[HAMILTON]

We’ll be with you when you do

[LAFAYETTE]

Go lead your men

[HAMILTON]

See you on the other side

[LAFAYETTE]

‘Til we meet again, let’s go!

[ENSEMBLE]

I am not throwin’ away my shot!

I am not throwin’ away my shot!

Hey yo, I’m just like my country, I’m young

Scrappy and hungry

And I’m not throwin’ away my shot!

I am not throwin’ away my shot!

[HAMILTON]

‘Til the world turns upside down…

[ENSEMBLE]

‘Til the world turns upside down!

[HAMILTON]

I imagine death so much it feels more like a memory

This is where it gets me: on my feet

The enemy ahead of me

If this is the end of me, at least I have a friend with me

Weapon in my hand, a command, and my men with me

Then I remember my Eliza’s expecting me…

Not only that, my Eliza’s expecting

We gotta go, gotta get the job done

Gotta start a new nation, gotta meet my son!

Take the bullets out your gun!

[ENSEMBLE]

What?

[HAMILTON]

The bullets out your gun!

[ENSEMBLE]

What?

[HAMILTON]

We move under cover and we move as one

Through the night, we have one shot to live another day

We cannot let a stray gunshot give us away

We will fight up close, seize the moment and stay in it

It’s either that or meet the business end of a bayonet

The code word is ‘Rochambeau,’ dig me?

[ENSEMBLE]

Rochambeau!

[HAMILTON]

You have your orders now, go, man, go!

And so the American experiment begins

With my friends all scattered to the winds

Laurens is in South Carolina, redefining brav’ry

[HAMILTON/LAURENS]

We’ll never be free until we end slavery!

[HAMILTON]

When we finally drive the British away

Lafayette is there waiting-

[HAMILTON/LAFAYETTE]

In Chesapeake Bay!

[HAMILTON]

How did we know that this plan would work?

We had a spy on the inside. That’s right

[HAMILTON/COMPANY]

Hercules Mulligan!

[MULLIGAN]

A tailor spyin’ on the British government!

I take their measurements, information and then I smuggle it

[COMPANY]

Up

[MULLIGAN]

To my brother’s revolutionary covenant

I’m runnin’ with the Sons of Liberty and I am lovin’ it!

See, that’s what happens when you up against the ruffians

We in the shit now, somebody gotta shovel it!

Hercules Mulligan, I need no introduction

When you knock me down I get the fuck back up again!

[COMPANY]

Left! Right! Hold!

Go!

What! What! What!

[HAMILTON]

After a week of fighting, a young man in a red coat stands on a parapet

[LAFAYETTE]

We lower our guns as he frantically waves a white handkerchief

[MULLIGAN]

And just like that, it’s over. We tend to our wounded, we count our dead

[LAURENS]

Black and white soldiers wonder alike if this really means freedom

[WASHINGTON]

Not. Yet

[HAMILTON]

We negotiate the terms of surrender

I see George Washington smile

We escort their men out of Yorktown

They stagger home single file

Tens of thousands of people flood the streets

There are screams and church bells ringing

And as our fallen foes retreat

I hear the drinking song they’re singing…

[ALL MEN]

The world turned upside down

[FULL COMPANY]

The world turned upside down

The world turned upside down

The world turned upside down

Down

Down, down, down

[LAFAYETTE]

Freedom for America, freedom for France!

[COMPANY]

Down, down, down

[HAMILTON]

Gotta start a new nation

Gotta meet my son

[COMPANY]

Down, down, down

[MULLIGAN]

We won!

[LAFAYETTE]

We won!

[MULLIGAN/LAFAYETTE/LAURENS]

We won!

[MULLIGAN/LAFAYETTE/LAURENS/HAMILTON/WASHINGTON]

We won!

[COMPANY]

The world turned upside down!

###

You get the idea.   And those were all from the first act!

Forty-two songs in all.  Great lyrics, great messages, great stories, great lessons.  See if you can.  At the least, find the music, listen to it, let it soak in, let it inspired you.

I did.

GOOD.

And GRATEFUL.